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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

'A voice for the voiceless'
Kiley O’Brien ’25, Assistant Features Editor • July 18, 2024
Fit to be king
Lilli Dellheim '25 M.A., Special to the Hawk • July 13, 2024

Who does legalized sports betting hurt?

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With every year that passes, it is becoming increasingly evident that sports are becoming more about money than anything else.

This fact became especially apparent when the Supreme Court ruled in favor of legalizing sports betting in 2018, and in turn many states began legalizing sports betting. Ever since this decision was made, betting sites like DraftKings, Sportsbook and Fan-Duel have been stepping up their advertising campaigns, and they have made it easier than ever to place bets with the press of a button on your phone.

But was this decision good for sports fans as a whole? I would argue that sports betting being so heavily advertised and mainstream only serves as a detriment to sports overall.

For one thing, I think it is important to consider who is really benefiting the most from legalized sports betting, and that is the companies that run the books.

GRAPHIC: RYAN MULLIGAN ’21/ THE HAWK

At the end of the day, the casinos and betting sites are the ones turning absurd profits off of the people placing bets and losing. Not to mention that the athletes that compete in the games being bet on will never see any of the money made off of bets made on the games. This fact is especially important to take into account because NCAA athletes still are not able to be paid.

I don’t find it fair for people to be making money off betting on collegiate games while the athletes competing aren’t making any money at all.

Another reason why sports betting being mainstream is bad for sports as a whole is because it ruins the integrity of the games being played, and the people watching the games are watching for the wrong reasons.

The focus on each game will be placed on the money, not the sport. More and more people are tuning into broadcasts just to concentrate on the money that they put on the game.

Additionally, with how commercialized professional and collegiate sports have become, the majority of advertisements people see are for betting sites, really affirming that the main motivator for many spectators is the prospect of making money off betting.

One major advantage for legalizing gambling that people like to point out is the fact that it will reduce or eliminate illegal gambling. However, the fact of the matter is that people who were gambling illegally before it was legalized will continue to do so.

Furthermore, heavily advertising betting and making it seem like a good way to consistently make money will not only fuel existing gambling addicts, but it will attract a new generation of them. Unfortunately, while the amount of gambling opportunities will increase, the amount of resources to help people who are addicted to gambling probably will not increase in proportion.

Overall, I think that bringing sports betting into the mainstream is only beneficial to the sportsbook sites and businesses running the system, and the athletes involved and the people actually placing the bets are being taken advantage of.

However, since gambling has become legal in some states, it will definitely remain a staple in sports culture and it will only continue to gain popularity until it dominates every aspect of the gameday experience.

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